Day 2 – Death Valley

Day 2

Date: 06/03/2016 Friday
Starting Location: Bridgeport, CA
Ending Location: Pahrump, NV
Starting Odometer: 7097
Ending Odometer:
Mileage Today:  343 Miles (All riding done in Torres del Paine)
Mileage Total:  619 miles

All about today…

It’s another early morning for our weary traveler.  (Hmmm, this seems a bit overstated, as this is only day 2 of the journey).  Nevertheless, I’m sticking with weary traveler if for no other reason than I’ll certainly be weary in no time at all.  Perhaps even by the end of today.

What about the hotel

The Redwood Motel in Bridgeport is a simple little motel, with small chairs, a pathetic air conditioner, and an owner that is probably older than Bodie.  Oh, when I say bodie, I mean older than Bodie, the man, not the town.  But, perhaps I’ll provide an explanation for that later..

Leaving Bridgeport

I used to live near Bridgeport, CT

Death Valley, CA – WTF (This place sure is hot and lonely)

When a man or a woman is described as hot and lonely, it conjures up certain images.  It does need to be said that when you use these words to describe a landmark, it conjures up an entirely different image.  And so, let’s learn a little bit about Death Valley.

Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California. It is the lowest, driest, and hottest area in North America.  In the summer (for instance, in June) the average high for the day is typically 110 degrees F, with a low of about 85 degrees F.  If you’re going to ride through Death Valley, you should really consider the name itself.  I mean, do you know how this place came to be called Death Valley?

The valley received its English name in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. It was called Death Valley by prospectors and others who sought to cross the valley on their way to the gold fields, after 13 pioneers perished from one early expedition of wagon trains.  (I lifted this text directly from Wikipedia.  Sorry, I’m not an expert in Death, but I’m a bit of an expert in Wikipedia, and so this is what happens…).  Nowadays, with air conditioned cars, and reliable engines, we hardly ever get to feel the effects of Death Valley on our body and souls.  But, for the few intrepid travelers that cross it on a motorcycle, they will get a chance to experience it’s full fury and that is amazing about the valley.  (Note: Expect Death Valley to be very, very, very, very hot.)

I thought it might be “fun” to chronicle the trip into Death Valley, and across the landscape, all the way to Badwater Basin.  The video below takes a few minutes to get through, but it is fairly dramatic footage of me and the bike as we approached our boiling points.  By the time I get to Badwater, I’m feeling some heat exhaustion, and my breath is laboring.  But, that could be just that I’m wearing a moon suit in a place where moon suits are anything but appropriate.


Dam, I’m glad to get out of Death Valley

No, that’s not a misspelling, it’s a pun (for goodness sake, can’t you spot a pun?  Don’t forget who’s writing this blog.  Please expect more puns.)

Leaving Death Valley, I’m headed for Pahrump, NV, a place where I’ve spent many nights over the last 10 years.  Pahrump, NV is the home of Spring Mountain Country Club, a private race track that we’ve rented a number of times over the years, and where we’ve held High Performance Driving Events (HPDE).  The Southern Chapter of the Audi Club has always been responsible for events at this track, and while the track and the town are somewhat nondescript and not spectacular in any sense, I always enjoyed the events at this track, and the camaraderie from my friends from the SOCAL chapter.  A few names come to mind, but I’ll refrain from naming them, as I’ve been told that at least 2 of them are now currently in the witness protection program.  The incident in question stemmed from a series of violent confrontations with the management of the track.  Nevertheless, we’ll call these folks Dave and Alex (not their real names).

The Hoover Dam will be first on my list of points of interest tomorrow.

I can’t wait to get to the Nugget for a good night’s rest.

About the Author

Cliff Musante

Cliff Musante is a technologist, business leader, motorcycle enthusiast, father, grandfather, and more. In June, 2013 his passion for motorcycles was revitalized, and he set out to ride across Patagonia. Since then, he's logged thousands of miles, ridden across the US, and on July 10, 2019, he began a 120 day trip through Europe, and then on to Russia, China, and parts East. This 'Blog is the story of all of his adventures.


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